18 candidates: a help or a hurt?

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Emma Tallon

As the 2020 presidential primaries draw near, a growing list of candidates have taken to the ballot in hope of calling the White House home. 

It seems as if a new candidate adds their name to the Democrats ballot every day. This is a familiar story that reminds us of the 2016 presidential primaries, when we saw an overwhelming number of Republican candidates join the race. 

“I think that this will hurt the Democratic Party and cause them to them to split and be divided, leading to a Republican victory,” sophomore Brock Townsend said. 

Since it seems that the Democrats do not often learn from others’ mistakes or from their own, this could be the case with the upcoming election as well. 

“If Democrats focus on choosing the perfect candidate rather than one that can actually win over moderate voters it’s going to hurt the party… we can’t be divided,” Julia Simpson, a sophomore Political Science major, said. 

Because of the divide created within the Republican Party last election season, we were given Donald Trump as our sole candidate to go up against the Democrats. Since President Donald Trump is running for a second term, some wonder if Hillary Clinton will be the next to join in on the fun. 

“If she’s smart, which she is, she knows her time is over and it’s time to put her support behind a strong candidate who can win,” Simpson said. 

Having lost to both President Obama and President Trump, her many failures are a warning to Democratic candidates. Democrats should learn from Clinton’s mistakes last election season and choose someone with quality over quantity. 

There are many people running, though this may not be beneficial. Having 18 candidates running on 18 different platforms can make it confusing for the average voter to know whose policies are whose. 

Because of the Democrats’ clear division as a party, they do not stand as a united front against their greatest opponent. Their weakness and lack of clarity as a party could ultimately lead to another loss against Trump. 

In 2016, many were shocked when Trump stole the election and became the Republican nominee for president. The main factors of this outcome were silent voters in middle America and people voting just to vote against Hillary. Though it has been three years, the political climate has not changed as dramatically as the media portrays, which could lead to a second victory for President Trump. 

“I feel that he will run [again] and he will win,” Townsend said. 

Though there has been a lot of negative press against Trump, it is still a platform where Trump is promoting himself. 

As we have seen in previous presidential primaries such as Kennedy and Nixon, it doesn’t always matter what your policies are, it’s about how present yourself to the American people. After hearing the many candidates policies and speeches, who are running for the Democratic nominee, it is apparent that they are no match for the current president who has a tight grasp on the media and the support of many Americans. 

It will be interesting to see which Democrat prevails as the singular nominee, in this Hunger Games-esque election season. 

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